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New Portable Amp By DECWARE - Page 4

post #46 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fort_Worth_Keith View Post
The amp really does shine with classical music. I think Steve on the Decware site really does explain well in the owner's manual of the ZenHead the non-fatiguing sound signature he was after.

http://www.decware.com/newsite/zenheadmanual.pdf


I have been reading posts in Head Fi off and on for over two years and a common complaint I have heard again and again is that the 2005 Beyer DT 880's are "too bright" and "too sibilant". It struck me today that real problem has been that the Beyer's aren't "too bright" but that most portable amplifers are too fatiguing because too much high frequency material is brought to foreground of the soundstage as a consequence of decisions made by the designers of most portable amplifiers.

If you already own a pair of Beyer DT 880's, you really owe it too yourself to try them with a ZenHead.

Side note. If anyone is interested in listening to FM Radio during the day (I enjoy listening to NPR) here is a moderately priced Sony Portable FM Tuner that works well with the ZenHead. Sony SRF-M37V as a tiny source of FM.

Amazon.com: Sony: Electronics SFR-M37V-Weather-Walkman-Presets/dp/B00008W7LS

Here is what Dr. Xin has to say about the Sony SFR-M37V on his website.

Pocket radio, the best gift for Dad!

This portable FM Radio also sounds very very good with my Shure SE310 IEM's.
You know what you may be on to something about the Beyers . The brightness that is sometimes prominent ( & eventually ear fatiguing ) in the upper registers is absolutely a signature of a lot of solid state amplification . I think in general most studio recordings of non-acoustic genres of music don't have much 'energy' in the higher frequencies . Many solid state amps are designed to compensate for this deficiency . Things are just fine & dandy until you throw some recordings at the amp that were recorded to be a representation of live acoustic sound of the music. That extra 'detail' that was designed into the amplifier now is translated into 'brightness' that creeps into the playback because of the, not needed,upper frequency boost. The Beyers are accurately portraying what has happened. Not to down someone elses product,but I do have to shorten my listening sessions a bit w/ my current portable amp because of a slight amount of ear fatigue. It sounds like the ZH sounds more like a good tubed circuit than a solid state one. Can't wait !
post #47 of 124

Zen Head and Grado 325i

Last evening I spent some quality time with my Zen Head and my Grado 325i's. Nice synergy. Grado's have often been slammed for being really bright with ear wax melting highs, especially the 325i. Last evening they sounded really good together amping my Philips Ipod clone (music ranging from Ray Brown to Roxy Music to Queen to Flogging Molly to John Coltrane to Holst).
I'll have to listen more with this combination, but I think that the Zen Head complements the Grado 325i sound very nicely. In the next week or so, I'll engage in some extensive listening and report back.

Pity, I've not heard any Beyers. Someday....

Cheers!
post #48 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by yashicaman View Post
Last evening I spent some quality time with my Zen Head and my Grado 325i's. Nice synergy. Grado's have often been slammed for being really bright with ear wax melting highs, especially the 325i. Last evening they sounded really good together amping my Philips Ipod clone (music ranging from Ray Brown to Roxy Music to Queen to Flogging Molly to John Coltrane to Holst).
I'll have to listen more with this combination, but I think that the Zen Head complements the Grado 325i sound very nicely. In the next week or so, I'll engage in some extensive listening and report back.

Pity, I've not heard any Beyers. Someday....

Cheers!
Yashicaman, since you mentioned listening to some Holst , & if haven't already tried any yet, you owe it to yourself to try some recordings on the Lyrita label. This label is dedicated to recordings of 20th century Brit composers & most of the recordings are demonstration quality orchestral music w/ tons of natural soundstage. I've never been able to find much information on who the production teams were but I think Ken Wilkinson (of Decca fame) may have been involved. I prefer a lot of these recordings over much of the Living Stereo & Mecury recordings which sound dated in comparison. To be fair much of the Lyrita catalog was recorded a decade & half later, but good recordings are good recordings regardless of when they were recorded. The John Coltrane recordings on Prestige bear witness to that. To get back on subject Sarah at Decware e-mailed that my ZH was on the way. I can only hope that my reporting of my listening sessions will approach the descriptiveness of what you have been reporting. It should be very interesting & I hope I can add something of value on my part.
post #49 of 124
Potweaker,

Telarc makes some find recordings as does Chesky. Mapleshade is also in the game for jazz. I'm very familiar with the Living Stereo series and even though dated am pretty fond of some of its offerings. Some have been redone as SACDs. I'm not sure that SACDs (not just Living Stereo) are all they they've been made out to be--I have about a dozen or so (probably more). I suspect part of my reticience to go whole hog SACD is that I have a world class cd player (musicality is high--Philips LHH1000 circa 1988--practically an antique and so amazing) and fairly good upstream components and speakers.

It's a shame that I'm so wedded to the cd format--I'd love to get back to vinyl (and will at work as soon as I clear some major space--I'll may also add my reel-to-reel into the mix (maybe).

I'll try a couple offerings off the Lynita label--you've piqued my curiousity.
I wonder if there is any Schoenberg. Prestige did a good job with Coltrane and a fine job with Miles Davis.

I hope your Zen Head arrives soon.

Cheers!
post #50 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by yashicaman View Post
Potweaker,

Telarc makes some find recordings as does Chesky. Mapleshade is also in the game for jazz. I'm very familiar with the Living Stereo series and even though dated am pretty fond of some of its offerings. Some have been redone as SACDs. I'm not sure that SACDs (not just Living Stereo) are all they they've been made out to be--I have about a dozen or so (probably more). I suspect part of my reticience to go whole hog SACD is that I have a world class cd player (musicality is high--Philips LHH1000 circa 1988--practically an antique and so amazing) and fairly good upstream components and speakers.

It's a shame that I'm so wedded to the cd format--I'd love to get back to vinyl (and will at work as soon as I clear some major space--I'll may also add my reel-to-reel into the mix (mayb
I'll try a couple offerings off the Lynita label--you've piqued my curiousity.
I wonder if there is any Schoenberg. Prestige did a good job with Coltrane and a fine job with Miles Davis.

I hope your Zen Head arrives soon.

Cheers!
Lest we give people the wrong impression it's 'Pod' not 'Pot' on my username(I don't use that stuff anymore, I've become responsible for reasons that elude me now!) Even if you don't currently play SACDs you do know that the CD layer on the Hybrid SACDs are many times more carefully mastered than the original CDs . The BMG Living Stereo CD series is nowhere near as good as the layer on the Living Stereo hybrid SACDs. Funny that you should mention Phillips , my current CD player a ConsonanceCd 120 linear is based on a non-oversampling Phillips chip. It has a nice analog sounding output that I may be ejoying more than my Marantz SA8001 playing the SACD layer of the same Hybrids. Ripped to lossless this music sounds quite tasty even on my Zune 80(& now 120. Yeah, I'm broke but my music sounds good,(he says between sobs) )
post #51 of 124
Podtweaker,

I was wonderin' why my Hybrid SACDs sounded better than my regulars on my Philips Cd player. Yes, the sound engineering is better.

My SACD player is a big old Sony ES something or other--DVD/SACD/CD--about 28 lbs (my Philips is a 2 box sysem weighing in at 60 lbs total). It doesn't sound as good as the Philips LHH1000 and there is about a 12 year age difference as the Philips is a 1988 model and the Sony is a 2002, I think).

From this I can conclude that the heavier the equipment, the better it sounds. I am such a scientist!

Amazing how good digital can sound (even if it has little or no soul).
I've got to get back to vinyl (if only to digitalize it for my ipod clone).
post #52 of 124
Hello all. Well I have my Zen Head. It was delivered at about 10:30 this morning by UPS as promised by the tracking info. Thanks UPS. I couldn't wait to try this amp out so I hooked up my Zune & Beyerdynamics DT770/80pro phones for a test run. I noticed that I had to turn the volume up a little more than I would have liked for a medium range of volume. Not by much, but a little & then remembered about the adjustable switches on the circuit board. So off I went to find a small philips head. As I was looking at the unit I had a small brain fart(not a large one, mind you because they are relative to the size of your mind) how did the volume contol knob come off. Luckily my brain caught up to my eyes before I proceeded & realized the entire front panel along w/ the circuit board can be removed from the case by sliding it foward after you'ved removed the screws holding things. To make sure that you have enough slack in the battery wires open up the battery compartment & move the battery so that the wires can move foward when the front panel & board are slid foward. I had remembered that Steve had mentioned about setting the input impedance switch to the 10k position for MP3 players & I also moved the gain switch to high, I left the crossfeed switch on. After closing everything back up & rehooking all connections I felt that the volume gain was in line with where I liked things. I set the Zune for shuffle ,took the phones off & went out for lunch. I've been listening for only a short while now so I'll only make some limited observations for now. One of the first things I've noticed is with this amp it is much easier to pick up the differences in recording quality w/ orchestral music. This is going to take some time to get a handle on the ideal volume for each label. Good labels have a certain "house sound" that the production teams try to achieve on a consistent basis. It's not often you can pick up the small nuances in the playback of digital recordings & probably not at all at MP3* bit rates , this is something more likely distiguished in good analog playback. Just one more little teaser for now , as I have to go to work soon. I'm not noticing the upper frequency glare that I was hearing w/ the other portable amp I was using & I don't know if you could really have called that glare. That's all for now kids, till next time. . .(* I don't use lossy, just a personal preference)
post #53 of 124
Hello everyone. Finally, I've got the ZenHead yesterday! It used three days shipped to Hong Kong via USPS Express. It is very nice! And I am the people who always want to have try on the new things. So Zen Head must be what I want to get, especially here's reviews says that is awesome.

What I listened the songs that extremely good, particular in live. Not just the soundstage are wide, also the female voices are sweet and close to me! But now its sound doesn't too impress me, maybe after running-in will be better than now. One things want to ask, I need to turn the volume to one clock to drive my Shure SE310, is it normal? Or the power out isn't enough? Owing to my C&C XO, it only turn on to eleven o'clock and it get loud.

I do like Sarah's attitude, because I phoned to her and can't speak a good English but she didn't claim and still patient to listen to me. Also tell me what I want to get immediately.

Decware's service are the best one that I'd never seen in other foreign companies.

Photos will be uploaded soon after I back to home.
post #54 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Louis249 View Post
Hello everyone. Finally, I've got the ZenHead yesterday! It used three days shipped to Hong Kong via USPS Express. It is very nice! And I am the people who always want to have try on the new things. So Zen Head must be what I want to get, especially here's reviews says that is awesome.

What I listened the songs that extremely good, particular in live. Not just the soundstage are wide, also the female voices are sweet and close to me! But now its sound doesn't too impress me, maybe after running-in will be better than now. One things want to ask, I need to turn the volume to one clock to drive my Shure SE310, is it normal? Or the power out isn't enough? Owing to my C&C XO, it only turn on to eleven o'clock and it get loud.

I do like Sarah's attitude, because I phoned to her and can't speak a good English but she didn't claim and still patient to listen to me. Also tell me what I want to get immediately.

Decware's service are the best one that I'd never seen in other foreign companies.

Photos will be uploaded soon after I back to home.
I've had this occur to me a couple of times with new amps or pre-amps. On first listen the quality of the sound will get your attention with a couple of "wow" moments & then on the next listening session there aren't as many of those moments. What is happening is the passive components (the capacitors,etc) are 'aging'. The process of the capacitors being charged(when the amp is playing) & discharging(when off) hasn't stabilized to a consistent state yet. This is probably where the term 'Burn-in' comes from. About the 1 o'clock setting for your Shure 310s I would give it some time & if you still aren't happy with things you can try changing the impedence setting to 10k as I did. I would leave the gain switch on it's current setting though as IEMs shouldn't need a high gain setting. See my posting before your's on how to get to the switch should you decide to change it. Yeah, this is a nice little amp I think I'm going to love. Happy listening.
post #55 of 124

Burn baby burn in

Louis249,

Give it time to burn in. Headphone, speakers, amps, preamps, and some say wires all need time to burn in. I usually don't worry about burn in. It will happen with use, but there might be something said for accelerating the process. I should burn in my latest headphone buy (Yuin PK1). It sounds like these ear buds have potential, but they need some time playing to realize this potential. Enjoy the Zen Head.
post #56 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by yashicaman View Post
Louis249,
...................................snip........... .........................

I should burn in my latest headphone buy (Yuin PK1). It sounds like these ear buds have potential, but they need some time playing to realize this potential. Enjoy the Zen Head.
I found that all of my Yuin earbuds take a looonnng time to reach their potential! My Sony F-1s took about 500 hours to develop, and I was one who initially didn't give much credence to "burn-in". I think earphones, and devices containing caps benefit from burn-in, but I personally can't hear any difference in opamps before or after burn-in.

Isn't is odd that almost everyone say burn-in improves the sound? It would seem to me that just the opposite could just as easily happen. Maybe it does and we just get used to the sound. After all, much of our listening experience is shaped by psychoacoustic factors with our brains trying to equate what we are hearing with what we have experienced during live performances.
post #57 of 124
HiFlight,

I will be leaving my Yuin Pk1's running as much as possible to get the "burn in." I never thought that I'd be investing some of my cold hard cash in a pair of earbuds, but my wife's Pk2's are amazing. I almost went for a pair of
PK2's, but as I have a Zen Head, I decided to go for the gold.

Thanks for reassuring me that Yuin's take a long to burn in. I will be patient and relentless with burn in!

Cheers!
post #58 of 124
FWIW, I much prefer the sound of the PK1 to that of the OK1.
The OK2 is very similar in sound to the PK1.
Ron



Quote:
Originally Posted by yashicaman View Post
HiFlight,

I will be leaving my Yuin Pk1's running as much as possible to get the "burn in." I never thought that I'd be investing some of my cold hard cash in a pair of earbuds, but my wife's Pk2's are amazing. I almost went for a pair of
PK2's, but as I have a Zen Head, I decided to go for the gold.

Thanks for reassuring me that Yuin's take a long to burn in. I will be patient and relentless with burn in!

Cheers!
post #59 of 124
HiFlight,

Since you have both P3 and ZH1, I'm curious how their SQ compares. TIA.
post #60 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Podtweaker View Post
I've had this occur to me a couple of times with new amps or pre-amps. On first listen the quality of the sound will get your attention with a couple of "wow" moments & then on the next listening session there aren't as many of those moments. What is happening is the passive components (the capacitors,etc) are 'aging'. The process of the capacitors being charged(when the amp is playing) & discharging(when off) hasn't stabilized to a consistent state yet. This is probably where the term 'Burn-in' comes from. About the 1 o'clock setting for your Shure 310s I would give it some time & if you still aren't happy with things you can try changing the impedence setting to 10k as I did. I would leave the gain switch on it's current setting though as IEMs shouldn't need a high gain setting. See my posting before your's on how to get to the switch should you decide to change it. Yeah, this is a nice little amp I think I'm going to love. Happy listening.
Thanks for your reply. It gives me "wow" feeling since I used it for two days. It seems getting in a better and better sound, warm and more suit for my SE310. I really don't mind the volume setting now, but maybe I'll care it after I used sometime. Anyway, thanks your lovely advice.

Hearing Carla Bruni's new album, I am clear to know that the time is 19:37 now, her voice are extremely close to my head, such as sing in front of you. The bass not much compared with C&C XO. What makes me interseting is everytime I listen with Zen Head, it always urge me to feel sleepy, it's sound too comfortable and can't find anything too blame.

What a good mini amp as you said.

Enjoy your Zen Head too.
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